T Nation

Body Fat Tests


My gym was offering free body composition tests today by using the electronic scale. The scale said I have a 20% BF, which surprised me. I'm a pretty muscular 25 year old, 5' 6'', 165lbs with a 31 inch waist. There really anywhere for fat to hide on me.

I was curious to see what everyone thought about this method of testing for BF. She asked me if I consider myself an athlete (I said no)...is there a different setting for "athletes" that would that have given me a different reading?


the tanita electronic scales that they use can be way off. You should have done it in the athlete mode for a 'truer' idea of bodyfat, but even then it can be as much as 3-5% out. With a 31" waist you should be in the 10-12% zone if what you have described in your post is correct.
Dexa/bodypod are the most accurate measure of testing bodyfat but they are expensive.


No wonder it was free. The bio-impedance scales are fine for determining relative progress (if you use it at the same time under the same conditions every day). They are completely worthless for absolute measurements though.


Thanks, guys. Now I don't feel so dejected. I've never had a bf test done before, so I really had nothing to benchmark this.